Outdoor Movie Theater Checklist

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With outdoor season finally here, backyard movie nights are a perfect excuse to bring family and friends together. Whether it’s a simple everyday enjoyment or you make a big event of it, an outdoor movie theater is sure to keep everyone entertained. As you dive into your backyard movie theater planning, let this checklist be a guide so you’re ready for the outdoor season ahead!

Outdoor Screen Shopping

When choosing an outdoor screen for your backyard, it’s important to consider which patio screen is best for your space. The main types of backyard movie screens are inflatable, framed, and hanging.

Inflatable screens are bulkier in design and require an electrical component to keep the screen inflated during use. However, they offer a grand look and are perfect for neighborhood block parties, city events, or other outdoor occasions for large groups.

A freestanding framed outdoor screen requires no electric connection, which inevitably requires less maintenance. A framed screen also has flexibility for placement, and some frames are even foldable for portability.

Hanging outdoor screens can either be manual or electric/automatic. This type is ideal for hiding when not in use, but require a building wall or other structure to connect the screen design to. All three screen options are durable for outdoor use; it typically depends on your preferences and outdoor space.

However, if you have a very flat, smooth wall surface that would be perfect for projecting your favorite movies or other screenings, then consider projector paint. It requires 24 hours to dry and perfect, but is a great option for adding an outdoor movie theater any space there’s a wall. Rather than settling for a blank wall, use the projector paint for a high-quality picture that’s worthy of your favorite screenings.

Once you decide the type of screen that’s best for your deck or patio, then choose the right size for your space. Make sure to get your measuring tape out before purchasing so you are sure it’ll fit in your desired location.

Projector Time

Whether you choose the screen first or the projector first, it’s important that both components have the same aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is based on the screen’s size. By having matching aspect ratios, your outdoor setup and viewings will be much more seamless and stress-free. Brighter setting options also assist with an easy-to-see picture for the unpredictable outdoors.

As you’re choosing a projector for your backyard, ensure that it is designed and built for the outdoors. With high-tech equipment it requires proper care, maintenance, and protection. When purchasing a projector, consider whether it’s safer stored in your home, or at least get proper protective gear for the projector when not in use. Don’t forget audio speakers, media player, extension cords, and other miscellaneous accessories to complete your outdoor entertainment system and maximize enjoyment.

Cozy Fire Night

While dusk and after are typically the best times to enjoy your outdoor movie, the cooler night temps make it harder to get comfy for the full evening ahead. Rather than wrapping yourself up in layers and layers of blankets that blocks yours or others’ view of the screen, consider adding a fire pit table to your backyard viewing space.

A gas fire pit is perfect for uninterrupted movie nights. There’s no need to pause the movie to build a fire as the temperatures cool down – a gas fire pit instantly ignites for cozy warmth. It requires no maintenance to continue building the fire as the movie plays. Simply use the adjustable valve to instantly get that just-right flame height and warmth.

Your propane or natural gas fire pit offers a predictable yet realistic flame with no flying sparks so you can focus on the movie plot knowing viewers are safe. A gas fire table features a smoke-free design with no worry that smoke will obstruct watchers’ view or cause an unpleasant viewing environment. It is important to shop for gas fire pit tables and burners that are UL Listed for a safe outdoor watch party. Once the movie’s over, simply turn the gas fire pit off and head inside, saving your time at the end of the fun evening.

Comfy Furniture

Outdoor furniture is a must for your backyard entertaining space. If you choose to relax in the patio furniture during the movie or simply enjoy it for entertaining before the movie starts, reliable outdoor furniture is essential to keep guests comfy. When shopping for backyard furniture, choose furniture that is extra durable for outdoor use. Powder-coated aluminum, resin wicker, and composite decking are a few quality materials that make up strong patio furniture. Strong furniture doesn’t mean it can’t be comfy though! Deep-seated designs with eye-catching Sunbrella® fabrics invite guests to sit back and relax in your outdoor room.

Last but not least, make sure to get plenty of snacks for your backyard movie night! Enjoy a popcorn bar with a variety of unique mix-ins. Roast marshmallows over your gas fire pit and let guests indulge in a s’mores making bar. Get creative with your outdoor movie night snacks! Now that you have an idea of your dream outdoor movie theater, start shopping now and make sure to share your final movie theater photos on Facebook!

Katie Oglesby, The Outdoor GreatRoom Company

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